Turkmenistan - Country Commercial Guide
Transportation

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-08-08

Overview 

Large scale reforms to improve infrastructure in the road, railway, maritime, and air transportation sectors of Turkmenistan are underway, though most transport infrastructure, particularly roads, remain underdeveloped.  The government announced in 2019 a plan to construct the 600km long Ashgabat-Turkmenabat highway by 2024. The first portion, between Ashgabat and Tejen has been completed.  Road upgrades are badly  needed in many parts of the country, including connections between major cities, such as Dashoguz, which are virtually undrivable.  

The Uzen–Gyzylgaya–Bereket–Etrek–Gorgan international railway, also known as the North-South Railway (NSR) or the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran Railway, opened in 2014. The NSR connects the Kazakh and Iranian railway systems through Turkmenistan with a junction at Bereket linking to Turkmenistan’s east-west mainline. The railway is expected to transport 10 million tons of goods annually. In November 2016, the Turkmen and Afghan Presidents opened a single-track rail linking Kerki, Turkmenistan, to Aqina, Afghanistan, and a rail link from Serhetabat, Turkmenistan, to Toraghundi, Afghanistan, in February 2018.  

In May 2018, Turkmenistan completed the expansion of the international seaport in Turkmenbashy, on the Caspian Sea shore. The new port includes ferry, passenger, and container terminals, as well as ship repair facilities. These new services are intended to increase cargo traffic in the region. The new port has a total annual capacity of 17 million tons of dry cargo, 300,000 passengers, and 75,000 vehicles. 

Turkmenistan Airlines (TurkmenHowaYollary or THY) is the state-owned air carrier, with a passenger fleet of Boeing aircraft. From 2013-2020 Boeing delivered five new Boeing 737-800 passenger planes to Turkmenistan. According to the National Program for the Development of Civil Aviation of Turkmenistan for the period 2012-2030, the number of new aircraft in THY’s commercial fleet will increase from 20 to 39. In recent years, Turkmenistan Airlines briefly added new international flights to Kuala Lumpur and Riga, before cancelling them indefinitely, and announced new flights to Milan and Doha, but those never started. Luxembourg’s Cargolux transports cargo via Turkmenbashy.  Turkmen Air operates international cargo flights, including to Frankfurt, as well. In recent years the government constructed new airports in the cities of Turkmenbashy, Mary, Turkmenabat, and Kerki, new runways at the Ashgabat and Dashoguz Airports, and announced a tender for the construction of a new airport in Garabogaz. 

Prior to the complete closure of commercial flights in March 2020 due to pandemic restrictions, international airlines such as Turkish Airlines, S7, Belavia, FlyDubai, Cargolux, and China Southern Airlines operated international flights servicing Turkmenistan. Lufthansa suspended its service to Ashgabat indefinitely in October 2019.  The government expressed interest in joining the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) in 2013 but at present is not an IATA member.  

The Commercial Maritime Code of 2008 regulates commercial navigation, and addresses freight transport, transport of passengers and their baggage to a foreign port, emergency operations, and accidents with other ships. In addition, it includes provisions on crew certification, state registration of ships and ship ownership titles, sea traffic control systems, maintenance of seaways, and environmental protection. 

Transportation (No statistics or estimates available): 

Turkmenistan Transportation

 

2015 

2016 

2017 

2018 (Estimated) 

Total Local Production 

*2 

Total Exports 

Total Imports 

Imports from the US 

 

Total Market Size 

Exchange Rates 

3.5 

3.5 

3.5 

3.5 

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports) 

Leading Sub-Sectors 

Road, railway and port construction and maintenance consultation services; specialized transportation machinery; and solutions to create logistics centers. 

Opportunities 

Apart from road construction, there are also opportunities to supply airport navigation equipment, specialized machinery for transporting cement, water, or flour, as well as garbage trucks, street cleaners, cement mixers and dump trucks. 

Resources 

http://turkmenairlines.com/ 

https://railway.gov.tm/ 

http://www.turkmenmaritime.gov.tm/